Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You can't escape it, part II

I have written previously about how stupid and hypocritical it is to suggest that atheists should keep their (lack of) beliefs to themselves, given the ubiquity of religion in everyday life. Everywhere you turn, people are blathering on or otherwise promoting their religious beliefs, and nobody bats an eyelash. I'm not even talking about fundies and other sanctimonious types, I'm just talking about casual promotion of religious beliefs.

Today, my wife took our 9-month-old son to a "Kindermusik" class, which might be described as "music lessons for infants", but is probably better described as "fun activity that let's mom get out of the house while increasing baby's socialization and exposure to music." In any case, she said it was a real blast and she intends on going back. On the other hand, she also reports:

It is unfortunately held at a Christian school, in a room decorated with Christian affirmations, by a woman who appears to be xtian

Not that this is a huge deal... In theory, none of that should matter (though I find even nominal reverence for a book as horribly violent and hate-filled as the Bible to be deeply disturbing, so I guess even in a perfect world it would matter a little) except that this sort of thing is everywhere; nobody thinks very much of it; and if you imagine the atheist equivalent, people would be all up in arms. I mean, what if it was held in a freethinker school, talk by a woman who appeared to be an atheist, and the room was decorated with humanist affirmations like "You can be good without God" and such? People would storm out. It would be controversial.

Either everybody else shuts the fuck up about their stupid beliefs, or else I get to be as vocal as I want about my stupid beliefs. You can't have it both ways... unless you want to maintain that atheism -- even the quiet, deferential sort -- is inherently evil. People who spew tripe like, "People who talk about their atheism are just as bad as religious fundamentalists," need a serious reality check. At worst, people who talk about their atheism are just as bad as people who talk about their religion -- and the latter is not restricted to fundamentalists, it's situation normal all over the world, all the time.


  1. And if I said that I would be uncomfortable taking my child to a facility which had "Christian affirmations" all over the walls, I would be excoriated for "pushing my beliefs on people." "Why can't you just ignore the stuff on the walls?" is what I'd get. Well, why should I have to? Why should I have to look at it? Why should my child have to ask me about some psychopathic sadistic deity before I'm ready to explain it? (Sound familiar?)

    Obviously if it's a private facility the owner has the right to display what she likes, and I have the right not to patronize the establishment. I just find the irony sadly amusing.

    --Lauren Ipsum

  2. ...a private facility subsidized by your tax dollars in that it is tax exempt.